If you're interested in creating a garden
like the one pictured above, here is a key with plant suggestions.
The center structure can be a pergola, deck, patio, a small summer house or gazebo. Screens are optional. I use sections of fencing, or create the gardens in areas enclosed with fences and trellises. I change out loud, crunchy slippery gravel paths with natural and painted cedar pathway sections, "stomp stones" or wide cedar planks.
|A natural or human-made
serene environment in our gardens can help us to connect with the rest
of the world, or retreat from it for a while, and help us find balance,
serenity and peace. This type of space is beautiful and soothing,
whether you practice yoga or not. There are many nooks and crannies in
my landscape that reflect my need for quiet, peace and mindfulness. Some
of my very best ideas and projects came into being while sitting in thee
quiet spaces. I use these spaces for reflection mostly in the morning
for inspiration before I get cracking in the garden, and early evening,
when I sit still and celebrate my good work in the garden and dream up
new ideas. Which may or may not work.
You can create a unique garden retreat that combines some principles of traditional Hindu philosophy of architecture, space and design. Combining the elements of earth, water, fire, air and space into a special, personalized retreat, encourages relaxation among beauty, fragrances, and wild things to achieve tranquility and mindfulness. This is a beautiful space whether you practice yoga or not. Plants, decorative and structural objects and ornaments combine in the garden to achieve a daily respite from the realities of a challenging world, and can kickstart your creativity and nurture your inner muse. Practice your yoga here in peace and take in the fragrances and sounds of birdsong.
Here are some ideas for creating your space, and photos of gardens, ornaments and decor to help you achieve it. These ideas are quite similar n concept to the Meditation, Zen, Serenity and Prayer Garden Designs featured on this site that you can also visit. Create a garden as unique as you are, using the elements that fit in with your emotional and psychic needs.
Some of the ideas may or may not work for you, depending upon garden size and budget constraints, but you can personalize it with imagination, upcycling, recycling, and intent, and using the right plants. The plants you grow in this garden are important and have a purpose. Whether it's just their beauty and fragrance or their symbolism, as in Saints Gardens and Mary Gardens. I know I have no room for, and can't budget a pergola for vines, unless I make or adopt a discaded one. So I create or use another structure in my space. Like arbors, upcycled old decorative fencing and trellises. I also use decorative, weatherproof collectibles and pottery from my home to make it personal and add interest. Make the garden an extension of You and your creativity.
Air and Movement - Delicate branches, stems, rain chains, and windchimes.
element - Suggested Plantings For Buddhist, Hindu, Meditation and Zen
Stones, wooden walkways, driftwood, branches and trees add the grounding Earth element.
Shrubs - Chosen for
shape, growth habit, and fragrance.
Chinese Feather Tree
Plants, Bulbs and
And add a little Whimsy and Decorative pieces
A Serene Seating Area Is Essential
A seating area in your retreat is very important. It can be tailored just for one, or a few. It can be a rock, a stump, or a cusion, or benches. You don't want to give this space a look of gathering, or feel as though you're welcoming groups for entertaining. It's your sacred retreat. Similar to creating a Prayer Garden, Tea Garden Retreat or Secret Garden. Seating for no more than 2-4 persons is adequate in your personal space. I use tall trellises for a feeling of enclosure. These trellises will be covered with the newly-planted "Joseph's Coat" climbing roses in summer. The blooms are shades of red, orange, pink and yellow.
I like to use bamboo benches in certain areas of the garden, along with a small bistro set or iron loveseat bench to designated seating areas. I don't like to speak when I sit in these spaces. Except to my dog and St. Francis, patron saint of gardens and wildlife. I have a few well-placed seating areas just for me and perhaps one other person. I locate one across from a bird feeder and birdbaths. My favorite time for hearing birdsong is about an hour before dusk, when the birds come to eat, splash around, and sing. And that's where i'll quietly perch myself to unwind. I know the hummers visit my honeysuckles, Butterfly Bushes, Rose of Sharons and Giant Hibiscus around the same time in another area. There's a seat for me there, too. I think these natural benches are perfect for a yoga/meditation space.
Design your space to attract good Karma and and give thanks to Mother Nature or personal deities in a way that brings you joy. Set up your seating areas, choose and plant the plants around it, distribute your decorative items, find a focal point, and focus on filling that area with things you love best. If you practice yoga, keep a mat and your favorite affirmations or music handy somewhere in your space. Light the incense for day or night. All of these rituals, when done daily, can be a part of the healing and connection your garden is designed to provide.
Use small tables or plant stands
to hold a teapot and teacup or your cocktails. Place fragrant cut flowers
in bowls or small vases here and there. An outdoor stool or little
ottomans are another good choice. Put your feet up, and empty your mind of
non-productive or destructive thoughts.
Do not put a TV anywhere
within this space.
The Fire Element
Landscape and tree lighting, fireplaces, firepits and outdoor cooking elements all represent fire. The best colors for plants in this space are warm reds, dark and bright oranges and deep yellows.
The lantern above is a large solar lantern hung on a shepherd's hook, which the clematis vines enjoy greatly.
Do have the glow of lights around the seating areas for safety, especially if you have a pond, or use a lot of stones and gravel in your design that can trip you up in the dark. Floating candles in pretty bowls or fountains, candles on little tables, among your plants or hanging in jars, small, warm white solar fairy light strings look beautiful. Reminds me of fireflies and starlight. I have many little areas of solar lights putting out a soft glow, as well as solar path lights to keep me from taking a header while wandering around aimlessly in the gardens. Do not use large bulbs, set your lights to blink, or use colored lights. That's too distracting. Use solar lights as uplighting special decor or for showing off your best specimen plants, and hidden areas with a subtle glow.
Small tabletop or short oil-fired ornamental metalwork tiki torches placed in the soil are very pretty in the garden, as well. I have staggered sizes and types. There are some pretty copper and brass torches that add a lot of style and class.
However you decide to decorate your space, personalize it to reflect You.
Besides my gardens...
photos and design ©2020 marysbloomers.com